Football: Keegan happy to stand by his backroom boys

THE ENGLAND manager, Kevin Keegan, insisted yesterday that he had no plans to make any major changes to his coaching staff in the run- up to the Euro 2000 finals. It is understood that he is not being put under pressure to do so from his employers at the Football Association.

Keegan has been accused of tactical naivety by his critics in the wake of England's 1-0 home defeat to Scotland last week and there have been suggestions he should hire an experienced figure such as Don Howe or Dave Sexton to work alongside him. Keegan, however, appears to be fully confident in the abilities of his back-up staff, that includes Arthur Cox, Derek Fazackerley and Ray Clemence. "We can all take criticism and we will use it for our benefit," he said. "I've got top players who are with me 100 per cent and I've got a good staff."

Asked about whether he planned to bring in any coaching back-up, Keegan replied: "I took the job and was given the job on the basis of what I'd achieved so far and the things I'd done at various clubs. There's no reason to change that."

Keegan accepted that "99.9 per cent" of the criticism had been justified but he insisted there was a lot to look forward to, including a friendly against Argentina in February and a possible game against Brazil in May, before the Euro 2000 finals and was determined to avoid a siege mentality developing within the camp.

Although he did not respond to the criticism of his decision to stay up until dawn with four of his England players to watch the Lennox Lewis fight following the game at Hampden Park, there was another comment which had clearly angered him.

That was from an unidentified FA councillor, who was quoted as expressing an extreme view in his opposition to the technical director Howard Wilkinson in an article which appeared in a national newspaper last Saturday.

The comment apparently not only caused distress to Wilkinson's family but also angered the FA chairman, Geoff Thompson, who has sent a strongly- worded letter to all 92 FA councillors on the subject. This stated that the comment was unacceptable and asked for councillors to disassociate themselves from the view by return of post.

The FA are keen to stress that Keegan retains their full support and he was congratulated on guiding the national team to the Euro 2000 finals when he made a brief appearance before the governing body's international committee yesterday.

Meanwhile, an immediate crackdown on players making obscene or insulting gestures to opponents or supporters during games has been announced by the FA. So far this season Manchester United's David Beckham and Arsenal's Fredrik Ljungberg have both received warnings for making gestures.

From this weekend, future offenders will be charged with misconduct and face the prospect of a fine or possible suspension. The FA will, however, require independent evidence from match officials, police officers and possibly television replays before taking action.

A letter warning of the policy has been sent out to all 92 clubs as well as the Professional Footballers' Association and the League Managers' Association.

The FA spokesman Steve Double said: "We realise that players, particularly at the top level, have to deal with at times unacceptable amounts of provocation. But they have an important responsibility not to respond and inflame any situation. From now on, any such cases will be treated with the utmost seriousness."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Rocky road: Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino play an estranged husband and wife in 'San Andreas'
filmReview: In the face of all-round devastation, even Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson appears a little puny
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bright lights, big city: Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles by dusk
books
Sport
Harry Kane makes Paul Scholes' Premier League team of the season
footballPaul Scholes on the best players, managers and goals of the season - and the biggest disappointments
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Middleweight

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's fastest growing full s...

Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

Recruitment Genius: Commercial Engineer

£30000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Estimating, preparation of tech...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will work as part of a smal...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor